New study shows the more ink you have the stronger your immune system

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A study released by the University of Alabama suggests that those who have more than one tattoo have higher levels of Immunoglobulin A, one of the components that make up a stronger immune system
By Jason Spencer | Mar 13, 2016
While tattoos in the workplace are still looked down upon having just one is slowly creeping into mainstream society. Brain Statistics reports that while only 14% of Americans have tattoos, at least 35% of adults 18-40 have at least one tattoo.

A new study shows that these people might be healthier as well. According to Microcap Magazine, researchers from the University of Alabama have shown that while one tattoo can weaken the body for a short time after getting inked, the more you add after that only strengthens the immune system.

Lead scientist of the study Christopher Lynn noted that the way the body responded to tattoo was identical to the way the body responds to exercising for the first time.

"After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium," said Lynn "However, if you continue to stress your body over and over again, instead of returning to the same set point, it adjusts its internal set points and moves higher."

Studies were conducted using saliva samples from those who had gone to a tattoo parlor. Subjects included both males and females, though more females were available for the study, giving more insight when it came to women than men.

Benefits included a stronger immune system as well as a greater resistance to infection. Headlines and Global News reported that levels of Immunoglobulin A rise with every tattoo gotten after the first one. However, Lynn adds that people need to have more than one tattoo to experience these added benefits.

Lynn added that the data gathered could be the result of two factors.

"First, participants with greater tattoo experience may be more excited than anxious about a tattooing session, resulting in reduced immunosuppression," said Lynn.

"Another explanation, which is not mutually exclusive, is that people with higher tattoo experience might also display reduced IgA suppression after tattooing, similar to elite athletes who habituate to moderate and high intensity exercise stress over time."


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